What PSU would you pick?

By b.confell ·
How good it is to find TR! Having never gone further than installing a DVDRW drive some years ago I recently tried to do the same in my 3 yr old machine but instead the whole system just died. After reading so many similar stories and replies I summoned up the courage and took everything out of the case and then used a PSU from an old machine to ascertain that it was the PSU that had stopped working. I have reinstalled most items and it still fires up on the old PSU but I need to buy a new one, around 400W should be fine.
Are there any brands to look out for or to avoid and, apart from getting the right connections any other considerations.
One other question, if you don't mind. The power/reset button switches the computer on but does not switch it off as it did before, no matter how long I hold it in. Is there something I may have altered inadvertently.
Thanks for any comments that you may have.

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All Answers

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If you read the post

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Just wow.

You would have seen that the unit was feed 33,000 Volts not the 240 that it was designed for due to a incident with a power supply failure.

Personally the 2 feet of flame that was shot out the back was more likely due to the air flow that was created by the Antec Fan being directed that way. But on the other hand insignificant things like Electric Stove Hot plates exploded and had bits embedded int he ceiling. Those Glass Cook Tops do leave something to be desired when things like that happen.

The TV's involved also set small fires. :^0


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Oh I did

by Kingbackwards In reply to If you read the post

I was trying to make a joke.
Flames = heat. Fans = cooling.

Sadly I guess my humor was lost.

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Not totally

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Oh I did

After all the Antec Fan did blow out the flame while it was still working.

Col 0:-)

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I fail to see how this is a case against Thermaltake PSUs

by SKDTech In reply to A couple of things agains ...

But I do see the point you are making in favor of Antec and will definitely consider them in the future. The real question I would be asking in these stories though is that considering these were servers, presumably critical to operations, what were your surge suppressors and UPSes doing while all of this was taking place? It is my understanding that any UPS worth its salt is supposed to protect from overvoltage situations as well as loss of power.

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Only one was a server

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to I fail to see how this is ...

The other one was a domestic system in a domestic setting that got hit during a thunderstorm.

However the Server which set Mains Voltage inside the Case was on a APC UPS and that was destroyed when the Monitoring Cable passed Mains Voltage to the UPS over the Monitoring Lead.

Even still with these extreme events happening I never really trust any Surge Protector to actually do as it is claimed to.

I have Surge Protectors on the Mains here that supposedly stop a Lighting Strike at 100 Meters. But that by no means, means I want to test that claim. When there are Thunder Storms here I unplug everything it's just safer and easier that way.

When you look at a lighting strike there is a Raise to over 400,000 Volts in under a Nanosecond and most of the better surge Suppression Systems take 1.5 Nanoseconds to trigger so for at least 0.5 of a Nanosecond full voltage is going through and this destroys things.

Even with the Tree Falling onto the overhead lines the rise time is instant then it drops off and starts to raise again till the Electricity Companies over-voltage protection kicks in. Here that means it trips tries to reset 3 times and then waits 15 minutes and tries to reset again. If it is still in a Over voltage/Fault situation the circuits then stay off and they require a person to reset them.

That is a lot of chances for damage to occur.

Normal run of the mill surges will be stopped by most surge protectors event he ones that take 4 Nanoseconds to trigger as these have slow rise times but the extreme events are a different story.


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Great story

by b.confell In reply to A couple of things agains ...

Thanks for your reply. I guess Antec would be pleased to have confirmation of how rugged their devices are.

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brand names..

by balge In reply to What PSU would you pick?

please be aware, brand names are not the only way to specify equipment - just saying 'so and so is the best' is meaningless - most manufacturers provide a range of different equipment at different price points, you need to decide how much to spend and on what -e.g. do you want a particularly quiet PSU, or are you stone deaf? affects your costing, no?
Do you need PCI-e power connectors, etc. etc.
Also specifying by just one value e.g. '400W'
is not really helpful, like buying a car by its colour...
check this out -

ref your last, not sure what you mean, is this the first PSU or the second one? If your switch does not turn off PC presumably either the switch is duff/sticking or you may have altered power management settings in OS or BIOS? Do you get a message saying 'safe to turn off now'?

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Fair point and thanks to all

by b.confell In reply to brand names..

Thanks for replying and I recognise what you say is valid. However, I have read though the suggested link and am afraid it's a bit beyond me. My simple strategy was to go on the conservative side: 400W is higher than the 350W that was originally fitted by Evesham and a reputable,(but not necessarily "the best",)PSU manufacturer should ensure that I don't end up with something that looks right but doesn't perform adequately. Actually, since my original post I have been on the Corsair website and they offer a good PSU selector guide for noddys like me. Suggestions for my setup range from 400W to 520W.
Re: not switching off. This has only developed since I have used the old PSU to ascertain that there is life in the system yet. As it is only a 90W PSU I have only connected it to show that the fans come on and the HDD begins to spin. I'll have to wait until I get the new PSU and then can report further.
Thanks for your help, and thanks to everybody that contributes this great site.

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Some Options

by willcomp In reply to What PSU would you pick?

Antec and ThermalTake are both good. TheChas mentioned hec which are fine except their cheaper Orion line.

Arguably, the top PSUs are PC Power & Cooling but they are a bit pricey for an older PC. Enermax and Seasonic are also top quality PSUs and pricey as well.

This is an excellent replacement and is reasonably priced:

I can't let all the praising Antec pass without comment. A cap in an Antec True Power PSU failed and took out the motherboard along with the PSU in one of my custom built systems. I wound up eating the motherboard replacement cost and wasn't too happy with Antec at that point. Still use them since Sonata III cases are such good buys.

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A final update

by b.confell In reply to What PSU would you pick?

Thanks to all who replied. In the end I bought a Corsair HX 450W, that seemed a good price on Amazon and persuaded by one person's review (elsewhere) that it "exudes quality". I received it yesterday and absolutely confirm that review, and it's guaranteed for 7 years!. I installed it and all seems to be well bar some issues with the BIOS but I am going to post a seperate question for that. I tried again fitting the pre-used DVD-RW drive that had led to failure of the old PSU. This time the Corsair just did it's thing and refused to power up, so assume there is a short there, but as soon as I removed the drive it was OK again. The switch issue has resolved itself.
Thanks for all your help.

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